Coach Speak: Tosh Lupoi

One of the most popular coaches at today's assistant coach "meet and greet" was new Husky defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi. He was asked about a number of subjects, but most of all what led to his departure from Cal in order to sign on with Washington...

On the transition: "It was one of the toughest decisions I ever had gone through. It was a process that felt like I was set, I was going to be there at Cal, and that's when Justin (Wilcox) came over here and Pete (Sirmon) and I was the late one in the process to say ‘no' to this opportunity and just did some thorough homework in the process for the couple of weeks in the process for those couple of weeks of what this opportunity was all about and what it meant and it finally got the point where I felt like it was right, something I couldn't say ‘no' to from what this place and what coach Sark represents and that resulted an immediate competition of trying to go about it the right way, but to begin competing with the place I was just at, so it was difficult, but I thought that coach Sark had tremendous advice in that process and truthfully a lot of the individuals that were being recruited from the other place, he approached it really of going about it the right way and at times, backing off of certain guys where he had already established a relationship with the young men that we were recruiting there and then I could kinda get in there and mingle with the staff and not so much make it about me but doing it the right way making it about Washington and all of the things that this place has to offer."

On the situation being awkward: "I'm a real passionate individual and doing all the thorough research and the homework about this place, for me, making the transition, felt like I had done such thorough homework on it that it was kinda natural for me to begin speaking on behalf of this place and I think that kinda shocked some families and some young men, to them it was a matter of a day or two of the transition, and now I'm speaking on behalf of this place and for me those first few days were continuing on myself and the relationship that we had established and then I think that was kind of a shock. Now, looking back on it, of how I would redo it or a regret, was just that transition being so quick, for me it was a 14 or 15 day process of learning about this place, whereas obviously I hadn't spoken a word to the recruits representing a different place, so going into this, now going into the homes wearing a different polo, it was a little bit shocking."

On leaving his alma mater: "It was tough because of all of the great things that place represents. That was my roots and where I played at, but at the same time I think it was time and I've been blessed to have some other opportunities come up each year and this is one where I truly felt it was the best and something that I wanted to be part of and something, since being here, it was the best decision I've made."

On coming to Seattle and then heading back on the recruiting trail: "I came up here to finalize and evaluate this place and took a day of looking around and meeting the staff, so of course I had to sign my contract and see my office and all that good stuff, but it was very fast. I pretty much stayed over night here. I think it was one or two nights here and then right back on the road, obviously being a contact period for recruiting, so it was very fast and kinda get the game plan from coach Sark and coach Wilcox and then go out and try to get to work with the two weeks until signing day."

On Tedford's reaction: "Coach, I think he understood and was always kinda been there and I've been offered good advice over the past years so it was kind of a quick conversation and I think at that point I had already said no to the opportunity for some time so I think he understood that there was a lot that was put into this decision. It wasn't something that was done in just one day or so and so I think he was understanding of the opportunity that was offered here and one of the reasons I wanted to start something new."

On how many times he said no to Sarkisian: "I don't know, but it was a process for about two weeks where, just like all the places, I've never taken an interview anywhere, I don't have an agent, it was something that I just felt it was the place I was going to remain. I had a lot of great opportunities and days there so it was natural for me to say no and then just talking to him throughout those weeks you realize what a great recruiter he is and a lot of great points he expressed wore on me."

On if he said ‘this is what it would take': "To me it was about the fit and the people that were associated with whatever if that opportunity was going to come up for me and then what that place represents. I mean this alumni association, the magnitude of the degree, the tradition here, those were the things that really, it wasn't necessarily about the actual deal and what was offered, so that was more, the content of what this opportunity offered was what most excited me."

On the reaction of Cal fans having an effect on him: "That's my blood, sweat and that had a major impact on seeing what alumni or what stories were told, but you move on and see who your real friends are and like I said, I've got nothing but great things to say about that staff and the university and the opportunity that I was offered there, I'll never forget those times. I'm very appreciative of the alumni there and all of my experiences there at Cal."

On how Wilcox's hiring helped him decide: "That was important. The people associated with this staff and this program, my prior relationships with numerous staff members here whether it was working camps with them and getting to know them and their reputations. Coach Wilcox is a very instrumental piece for me and this decision was having a feel for the people who are part of this program and then leading up to Sark and his reputation and always being awesome to me whether seeing him on the road or shaking his hand after the game and just the reputation and all of the people that he's been associated with over time, having relationships with people that have nothing to do with Washington necessarily but speak extremely highly of him."

On competing against Washington at Cal: "We had established a good little niche there at Cal, so in competing (Sark) had done a great job and Washington was always in the mix of some of these young men from the recruiting aspect so it's exciting, as he said, to join forces. Like I said one of the best parts of the University of Washington is the carryover here of an incredible degree to be offered here, such a strong alumni association and I think there is no question about it, Washington offers a national prestige and being a part of it here and being here on campus, playing these guys year after year, getting beat by these guys three years in a row from the place I just came, there's a special sell here. I'm really excited to be a part of it now."

On what has allowed him to be successful on the recruiting trail: "I think just being genuine, being honest and being able to, naturally for my age to be able to relate to young men perhaps a little better at times than other in this profession. Whether it be a social media standpoint, to just the time and effort that it takes to establish some strong relationships with young men so at the end of the day, I don't care who you are, it's the product that you represent and in this case it's this great university. When you have a top five rated public institution to represent, a nationally rated football program and of course the impact of the great tradition and head coach with an awesome reputation you've got a chance, to me, with anyone in America."

On how much his name has been out there: "I don't really go on the blogs and really get into that, so hopefully it's doing it the right way and representing the right thing and most of it is positive I hope. I'll do my best to represent this place and coach Sark and the alumni here in the right way, so as far as the attention or all that, I think to me what's most important is on behalf of this staff and the university and truthfully I could care less as far as the personal attention. To me it's an absolute team effort and what we represent is a team and a unit and a university and I'll do my very best to uphold the positive feedback and attention this place represents."


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